In this article, we discuss the 12 best Dow stocks to buy according to hedge funds. If you want to skip our detailed analysis of these stocks and the Dow Jones market index, go directly to the 5 Best Dow Stocks To Buy According To Hedge Funds.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is a price-weighted index of 30 well-known companies listed across stock exchanges in the US. These companies are referred to as the Dow 30 list. The Dow is undoubtedly one of the oldest and most reliable equity indexes, and its movement is closely followed by stock market professionals and investors.
We selected these stocks from the Dow 30 index and ranked them based on their popularity amongst the hedge funds, which was determined by the number of hedge funds that chose to invest in the company as of the third quarter of 2021.
Best Dow Stocks To Buy According To Hedge Funds
12. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 66
A world-renowned American multinational technology company, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is one of the top Dow picks as per hedge funds. The California-based Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is a market leader engaged in developing semiconductor chips and microprocessors that are installed in most personal computers. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC)’s microprocessors are majorly supplied to Lenovo Group Limited (OTC:LNVGY), Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (NYSE:HPE), and Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE:DELL).
At the end of September, 66 hedge funds monitored by Insider Monkey were bullish on Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC).
On October 6, Morgan Stanley analyst Joseph Moore kept an Overweight rating on the tech stock, but lowered the price target from $70 to $67. Moore said he expected PC sales to dip, but he believes that Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) will recover from it in the future, hence the Overweight rating.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is one of the best Dow stock picks according to hedge funds, much like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Visa Inc. (NYSE:V).
Here is what Alger Spectra Fund has to say about Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) in their Q1 2021 investor letter:
“Short exposure to Intel also detracted from performance. Intel designs and manufactures semiconductors for the computing and communications industries. Intel’s proprietary intellectual strength and manufacturing prowess versus the competition is deteriorating, which is causing the company to lose market share and profit opportunities. The short position detracted from portfolio returns as the share price reacted positively to the announcement of Pat Gelsinger being hired as chief executive officer, a stronger-than-anticipated quarterly earnings report driven by unusually robust PC sales that we believe are unsustainable and the unveiling of “Intel Unleashed,” a new long-term program to help improve manufacturing and spur innovation. This program involves opening two fabrication plants in Arizona, which confirms Intel’s commitment to continue as an integrated design manufacturer. Importantly, Intel continues to experience issues with its next generation server chips which are disadvantaging Intel versus the competition.”
11. The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 69
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) is one of the best Dow stocks to buy according to hedge funds. It is an American multinational consumer goods mega corporation, specializing in personal care and hygiene products, baby products, family care, and home goods. The most notable brands at The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) include Head & Shoulders, Pantene, Pampers, Febreze, Old Spice, and Gillette, among others.
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) is a popular stock among hedge funds, with 69 funds holding stakes in the company at the end of Q3, up from 68 funds in Q2.
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) announced earnings for Q3 on October 19, with the EPS coming in at $1.61, beating estimates by $0.02. Revenue over the period totaled $20.34 billion, exceeding analysts’ expectations by $445.15 million.
Deutsche Bank analyst Steve Powers kept a Buy rating on The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG), but lowered the price target from $163 to $160 on October 20. He stated that the company’s performance fell short as compared to Q1 results, due to higher than expected gross margin pressures.
10. Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 71
Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is an American multinational retail mega-company, engaged in hypermarkets, discount departmental stores, and grocery chains across the United States and Canada, with subsidiaries in multiple countries including Mexico, India, and Central America. Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has 10,524 stores in 24 countries, operating under 48 different monikers as of July 2021. It is one of the best Dow stocks according to hedge funds.
For the third quarter, earnings were reported by Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) on November 16. The EPS came in at $1.45, exceeding analysts’ estimates by $0.06. The revenue reported by Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) totaled $139.21 billion, beating expected revenue by $4.95 billion.
On October 18, Goldman Sachs analyst Kate McShane added Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) to the firm’s “Conviction List” and kept a Buy rating on the stock, with a price target of $196, up from $184. The analyst said that Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is positioned to grow EBIT while continuing investments, due to its widespread e-commerce, growth from its side businesses like advertising, and improving company fundamentals.
At the end of Q3, 71 hedge funds were long Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), holding stakes worth $7.93 billion. Fisher Asset Management is the leading stakeholder in Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), with more than 13 million shares worth $1.81 billion.
9. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 77
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) is a multinational pharmaceutical company from New Jersey, offering medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and animal health products. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s drugs and vaccines mainly target cancer, diabetes, HPV, and chickenpox. The pharma giant is traded as an S&P 100 and Russell 1000 Component.
Of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey at the end of Q3, 77 funds reported owning stakes in Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), worth $4.55 billion
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s EPS for Q3 came in at $1.75, reported on October 28. The EPS beat estimates by $0.20. The revenue equaled $13.15 billion, exceeding expectations by $833.53 million.
Goldman Sachs analyst Chris Shibutani on December 17 initiated coverage of Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) with a Conviction Buy rating and a $93 price target.
“In Q1, we initiated a position in Merck, a provider of health care solutions including prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health and consumer care products. We purchased Merck when the stock came under pressure in part on concerns that the newly minted Biden administration could implement regulatory changes and lower drug costs in the pharmaceutical industry. Recent, but anticipated changes to Merck’s management team have also weighed on shares, as have concerns over the company’s heavy reliance on immunotherapy treatment Keytruda. Notably, Merck is not getting much credit from investors for the 60+ programs it has in clinical development, despite having several solid and large new product opportunities. Additionally, the company’s strong balance sheet and robust free cash flow provide it multiple options for future partnerships and acquisitions. While Merck is undergoing a period of transition, we think the company’s fundamentals are strong and believe changes to management should be a catalyst for improvement.”
8. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 88
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is the leading multinational company providing consumer health products, medical devices, and pharmaceutical products. Some of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)’s most famous brands include Tylenol, Neutrogena, Aveeno, Listerine, Johnson’s Baby, and OGX, with more than 1.2 billion people using these products on a daily basis.
At the end of September, 88 hedge funds were long Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), with stakes totaling $6.8 billion. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) announced earnings for Q3 on October 19.
Goldman Sachs analyst Chris Shibutani initiated coverage of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) with a Neutral rating and a $161 price target on December 17.
Here is what Distillate Capital has to say about Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) in its Q2 2021 investor letter:
“The largest additions in the rebalance, Johnson & Johnson was around 50 and 40 basis points incrementally. J&J underperformed in the quarter while its normalized free cash flows held steady and so its position size was topped off to match the stable cash flows.”
7. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 95
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) is one of the top Dow stocks to buy according to hedge funds. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) is a healthcare and insurance multinational company based out of Minnesota. It is the leading insurance company in terms of net premiums, and the eighth largest US company by revenue. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) has a market cap of $402.79 billion, and ranks eighth on the Fortune Global 500 list as of 2021. The company also offers a dividend yield of 1.37%.
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) is quite popular amongst smart money, as 95 hedge funds in Insider Monkey’s elite database reported owning stakes in the mega-corporation at the end of September, as compared to 105 funds in the previous quarter.
The company announced Q3 earnings on October 14, and the EPS of $4.52. This beat analysts’ estimates by $0.10. Similarly, the revenue for UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) was $72.34 billion, exceeding estimates by $1.05 billion.
Evercore ISI analyst Michael Newshel kept an Outperform rating on the stock on October 15, raising the price target to $480, up from $360. He observed that earnings for Q3 and the company outlook for 2022 were up to the mark, as expected.
Just like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and Visa Inc. (NYSE:V),UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (NYSE:UNH) is one of the best Dow stocks to invest in according to hedge funds.
“UnitedHealth Group detracted from performance due to investor concerns about Medicare premiums as well as post-COVID medical cost trends. Medicare enrollment should continue to grow at double-digits at UnitedHealthcare. Meanwhile the Company’s Optum segment should be able to help bend the cost curve if indeed post-COVID volumes pick up to above pre-COVID levels. In any case, we do not think the long-term normalized trend of medical care in the U.S. has changed substantially and would look to add to our new position on any continuing short-term concerns.”
6. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM)
Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 101
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is a multinational investment bank and financial services corporation, incorporated in Delaware. Reports suggest that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is the leading bank in the US as of 2021, and the fifth-largest bank worldwide in terms of total assets. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is the largest lender to the global fossil fuel industry. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is one of the Big Four American banks, and offers private banking, treasury services, wealth management, asset management, and investment banking services to its clients.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is a popular stock among hedge funds. At the end of the third quarter, 101 funds were bullish on JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM).
Barclays analyst Jason Goldberg kept an Overweight rating on JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), with a price target of $193, up from $187 on October 15. The rating was owed to the company’s positive Q3 performance.
Vltava Fund mentioned JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) in its Q3 2021 investor letter. Here is what the fund said:
“While all the previous names could be categorised as founder, continuing, or key shareholders, these last two names fall into the category of hired professional managers. This is actually the most numerous category among the bosses of large companies, but even among them there exist a number of individuals with exceptional long-term track records. In our view, these include Jamie Dimon and Herman Gref.
We consider JP Morgan to be the strongest, largest, and most profitable bank in the world. It has not always been so, and the fact that it is what it is today can be attributed especially to its CEO Jamie Dimon. Dimon has spent his entire career in banking. He came to JP Morgan in a roundabout way in 2004 after the bank bought Bank One, of which he was CEO at the time. Since early 2006, Dimon has been CEO of the entire JP Morgan.
The quality and strength of JP Morgan under his leadership became fully apparent for the first time in 2008. Not only did JP Morgan help to stabilise the market by taking over the failing Bear Stearns in the spring of that year, but it was the only major US bank that did not require government assistance throughout the Great Financial Crisis and that was highly profitable even in the difficult year of 2008. Today, JP Morgan is even bigger, even more profitable, and even stronger than ever before. Many investors view banks with disdain, but a good bank with good management can be a very good long-term investment. From the time of its merger with Bank One in 2004 through the end of 2020, JP Morgan’s stock has outperformed even the S&P 500 index. The bank has earned a total net profit of USD 330 billion during this period, of which USD 232 billion has been paid out to shareholders in dividends and in share buybacks. I can recommend two books about Jamie Dimon: The House of Dimon and Last Man Standing.”
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Disclosure: None. 12 Best Dow Stocks To Buy According To Hedge Funds is originally published on Insider Monkey.